Keep on keeping on. That is what the Jonesboro Board of Aldermen instructed City Engineer Brad Graff to do at the special called meeting held on Tuesday, May 24th at City Hall. The way they have asked Graff to continue to work to get the town’s infrastructure in better shape was by approving four Resolutions that will allow Graff to apply for additional grant money from various state and federal Departments.
Resolution 2022-08: – This resolution addresses the need for new pumps, electrical improvements and piping at the Patterson Pump Station. By applying for a $35,000.00 from the Community Water Enrichment Fund (CWEF) it allows the town to put into operation two new pumps that have already been purchased but the town doesn’t have the money needed to put them into operation.
Resolution 2022-09: This resolution also addresses the need at the Patterson Pump Station. and is also an application to receive $35,000.00. The difference is that this money would come from Local Government Assistance Program (LGAP). Why the reason for two similar applications?
“The way things look now, we are not expecting to receive the full amount of funds that the grants show available,” said Graff. “It will most likely take both of the grants to come up with the total amount of money needed to bring the pump station to its full capacity.”
Resolution 2022-10: Addresses the need for a new tank and building repairs at the Patterson Pump Station. Application is for $278,400.00 to be received from the Delta Regional Authority (DRA). This would be the final piece of the puzzle to get the Patterson station fully operable.
Resolution 2022-11: Addresses the need for sewer main replacements and repairs to mitigate inflow and infiltration. Amount to be applied for is $750,000.00 through the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Resue Municipal Grant Program. The Resolution allows for Mayor Thompson to act as Official Project Representative and gives authorization to the Mayor to submit an application to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to put this on the Project Priority list for funding.
In further action Public Works Director Calvin Wortham gave an update on two ongoing street repair projects. The first was on Phil Street where additional repair needs have been discovered forcing the Council to approve an additional $4,186.00 more than the original $20,000.00 already approved and originally estimated as what it would take to finish the repairs. The second was in regard to the bridge repair work on Talbot Street where is was learned that all bids are expected to be in house by June 1st.
Mayor Thompson read a letter to the council that he had agreed to not charge event planner Denasha Ross a charge for using the Fairgrounds as since she was not charging an entrance fee and it was for the Lil Snupe Celebration which is an officially recognized day by the town.
Councilman Pete Stringer took exception to the decision and asked the Mayor to reconsider allowing Mrs. Ross to use the Fairgrounds for free.
“I think that if we allowed the Fairgrounds to be used free of charge for this event that it would set a bad precedent,” explained Stringer. “What happens the next time when someone wants to use the Fairgrounds and we tell them there will be charge. What do you think the response would be if a tax paying Jonesboro resident is denied free use but we allow an out of towner to get by without paying?”
Mayor Thompson agreed that this is something that needs to be looked at more closely.
While reading the same letter, Thompson stated that Ross had agreed to supply insurance and security details thus eliminating the law enforcement’s nightmare of crowd control. He also said that by allowing the event to be at the Fairgrounds it would solve a problem had by the Housing Authority of people taking up tenants parking spots and playing loud music in the subdivision all night.
Jonesboro Assistant Police Chief Cierra Murphy also presented a request she wanted to make sure the Mayor addressed.
“Just because a company has men wearing shirts with Security written across the front doesn’t mean these people are trained in crowd control or legal to carry firearms,” said Murphy. “Often times the are also illegally carrying a firearm. What I suggest is that Mayor Thompson require a copy of their insurance policy and proof they have the licenses to carry a weapon.”
In final action, Mayor Thompson explained to the Board of why the proposed general, water and sewerage budget had the numbers on it they did.
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